Peter Laviolette Named Nashville Predators Head Coach
Well, one thing is for certain, Nashville Predators GM David Poile already knows what he’s getting into by hiring Peter Laviolette as his new head coach considering the two worked previously together for Team USA.
Shortly after the news leaked of the hiring on Tuesday that Lavioelette would become the 2nd head coach in franchise history, Poile issued a statement regarding the new direction the team was taking. “Having reached the peak as a Stanley Cup Champion, Peter knows the intensity and urgency it will take to help our team reach its ultimate goal,” Polie wrote, “He is a great hockey mind who not only has a winning resume, but has done it with an aggressive offensive philosophy while also excelling in helping young players reach their potential. We look forward to Peter instilling his culture in Nashville immediately following his duties coaching the United States at the 2014 World Championship.”
I absolutely love this hiring for the Predators. After watching their defense-first system under former coach Barry Trotz in Nasvhille produce moderate results, it was no doubt time for a change in the capital of country music. Laviolette and Trotz are polar opposites when it comes to coaching schemes and it will be interesting to see what roster moves if any Poile makes to compliment the change in philosophy.
No matter what happens to the roster though, Laviolette seems to already be pretty excited about the pieces in place. “I love the nucleus of this team, starting on the back end with two of the best players at their positions in defenseman Shea Weber and goaltender Pekka Rinne, in addition to a solid group of dependable veterans and talented, rising young talent,” Laviolette said in a statement of his own on Tuesday. “My challenge will be to impart a system that enables our young forwards to thrive and reach their offensive potential. Being a perennial Stanley Cup contender requires buy-in, passion and commitment from every player on the roster. I can’t wait to get to Nashville and get started on our journey.”
It will be an interesting journey to say the least for Laviolette as Nashville isn’t exactly the hockey pressure-cooker Philadelphia was, instead it’s more laid-back like Carolina where Laviolette first made a name for himself as an NHL coach and Stanley Cup champion. Making the playoffs should be the height of expectations for him here and with the roster he already has that shouldn’t be considered impossible.
Regardless of what happens, Laviolette should receive a decent amount of time to prove himself, because if history is any indication Poile gives his head coaches plenty of leash before putting them down.